On Friday 17th June, Pride Catering by Churchill held our annual Chef of the Year competition.
The event was held at the state-of-the-art Unilever development kitchens in Leatherhead, Surrey and received an incredible amount of support from a number of suppliers who provided quality ingredients, products and services. We would like to thank Unilever, Russums, CMB Foods and KFF for their support on the day.
This year’s theme was ‘royal’ in recognition of the Queen’s 90th birthday, which she celebrated earlier in the year and standards were very high – demonstrating the excellent skills our staff have to offer.
Eight finalists cooked spectacular dishes, and James (Jim) Bayford walked away with the crown after serving hake fillet with samphire and watermelon followed by a light cardamom sponge on a bed of chocolate and beetroot meringue. Congratulations and well done to everyone who took part, and especially Rob Fuller and Rebecca Smith who finished 2nd and 3rd respectively. Rebecca also won best dessert and Terry Howard won best entrée.
Our 2016 finalists are: Jim Bayford, Stephanie Elliot, Claire McCarthy, Keighley Riddler-Cannon, Rebecca Smith, Terry Howard, Alex Gooud and Rob Fuller.
Dennis Purcell, Food Service Director, reflects on the event: “The competition is the highlight of the year for our Craft Team. The finalists represent the top eight chefs who have made it through to the final stage from a group of 24 entrants.
Our business revolves around fresh food and the competition is all about demonstrating and showcasing the great work our chefs can do with the ingredients. The high quality standards seen in the final are representative of the standards that permeate throughout our business.
Our Craft Team delivers meals to a variety of different meals to different clients on a day by day basis. From the seed, to the plate, to the customer, our chefs have an involvement and a real input into what we do. ”